Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Success with Smart Content

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Marketing isn't about dipping your toes into every new and trendy technology or tactic that pops up. It is about providing the best overall user experience to increase traffic, leads, and sales. Your business website is one of your organization’s most valuable assets, and should be treated as such.

It’s crucial to present a unique user experience that will attract, convert, close, and delight your customers through the entirety of the buyer’s journey. Your site’s user experience is, and should be, completely different from the rest. Personalizing your website with dynamic content is a great way to prioritize your website visitors.

Developing personalized content is the best way to tailor your website experience for each visitor and build a community that is supportive and conducive to thought leadership. This in-depth customization, also known as smart content or website personalization, is an ace of spades for any business or organization. Smart content, and the resulting analytics, allow your business a means of tracking where your visitor is in the buying process, and more importantly, the sales funnel.

According to the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, “A dynamic website is one that changes frequently and engages the reader in various ways. It lets the visitor know that your product, service, and the even brand is active and “keeping up” in the business world. Dynamic content can include items such as descriptions, text, blogs, announcements, pictures, animations, video or audio. This does not mean that the design of the website changes, merely the content which can be done in the back-end through separate databases. Given how often consumers log on to the Internet, and the sharp rise in mobile devices, it is no wonder that dynamic content is the demand of the times.”

Dynamic content should be developed based on website behavior, the way in which your visitors interact with your current content, and the knowledge you have about your buyer personas. The benefits of smart content are amplified when you thoroughly understand your customer lifecycle and they way potential customers interact with your site. Bottom line here is you should not necessarily jump into creating personalized content unless you have done the legwork necessary to make it work in a big way.

So, where can you jump in to begin the legwork for a website that is agile, dynamic, and responsive in all the right places to satisfy your buyer personas, target audience, and search engines too?

It all begins with, “Knowing who you are creating content for is just as important as the content itself. Think about it this way: you can serve a 4-year-old a top-quality, perfectly seasoned cut of prime rib, with a freshly baked potato and, while they may eat it, they most likely will not appreciate the value of it, in the same way an adult who loves beef and potatoes would.

Knowing what your content strategy should be is knowing the audience you are trying to reach. Regardless of how great you think your content is, if you are not serving it up to the right audience it will flop. The flop will happen inevitably because you are not reaching the eyes, ears, minds, or hearts of the individuals who care and matter most to the success of your community.

There are a few reasons your content may not be as successful as you had hoped:

  • Your target audience can't find your exquisite content.

  • It is presented in a manner that is not appealing to your buyer personas.

  • You are not telling the story they want/need to hear.

Think about your content as a reward for the individuals who visit your website. This can be a great way to test its relevancy to your product, service, or content offering and the value that said website visitor places on the content.” (Direct Images Interactive)

Honor your audience by providing the information, background, and advice they want and need. Provide answers to your audience's biggest questions.

Focus on what problems your visitor is looking to solve. Address how and when they prefer to approach pain points. This will play a major role in the success of your content.

When you are creating content, it is important to be transparent and informative. This is a blanket rule that should apply across platforms--whether you are distributing a product launch video, a blog, or a freemium--keep it clear and to the point.

Once you have nailed down the habits of your buyer personas, you can begin to strategize the setup of your personalized content. It is important to keep in mind you have gathered personal data from your website visitors and that data should only be used to streamline and improve their experience. Avoid overly complicating your site experience, otherwise you may be fighting yourself instead of assisting the individuals who are seeking your expertise, products, or services.

HubSpot discusses the importance of accurate and efficient personalization.

“Over the last year, HubSpot users have been experimenting with using smart CTAs in their marketing. Smart CTAs are a form of smart content that shows the different call to action buttons based on the characteristics of the person looking at them. The goal is to match the call-to-action on a website, blog, or landing page with the need that is most likely to be relevant to the person considering it. After a year of use, we looked at the data for more 93,000 calls-to-action created using HubSpot, the total of which resulted in hundreds of millions of views and found that calls-to-action targeted to the user had a 42% higher viewed to submission rate than calls-to-action that were the same for all visitors.” (HubSpot)

42% higher submission rates than those produced by static content. That is a pretty astounding difference in website visitor engagement and lead conversion, wouldn't you say?

The differentiating factor is the way in which you are presenting the content to your website visitors. Smart or dynamic content is the difference between first class and coach. It is in your hands to decide whether your website visitors receive a bag of peanuts or a free drink and an in-flight movie during their journey through your website.

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Topics: Website Development, Marketing, Inbound Marketing

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